AAAARRRGGGHH!



There's a moose loose aboot my hoose. Unfortunately, in person (in mouse?), it didn't look particularly like the ones in this picture. It looked more like a sneaky fucking evil mouse of doom. It wasn't even wearing a scarf.

Just you wait, mouse. We'll see who's looking smug once the dog gets here.



{Mama & Papa Mouse from Splendid Willow Avenue}

Dear People Who Run Topshop (Again)

I thought we talked about this.

Hand crafted from Care Bears. Topshop, £95

Perfect for those days when your body's freezing but your arms are just sooooo hot. Topshop, £75

Ah, yes. The furry octopus look. I hear it's very big this season.
(Unbelivably, this one's sold out.)

Because who doesn't model themselves after Cruella de Vil? Topshop, £98

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I just... sigh. Words fail me. Topshop, £450. Yes, £450.

Listen, Topshop. I know I said it was over the last time. But this time, I mean it. You've gone too far. I'm leaving, and I'm taking my obsessive and underfunded hunt for stylish-but-warm winter attire with me.

Yours indignantly,
Person With Taste Eyes

Still alive.


Just in case you were worrying, I'm still here.

I've been busy going on a road trip to my favourite farm,
watching cheesy rom-coms with a kitten in my lap,
dancing wildly with awesome ladies (and Fin),
becoming infatuated with doe-eyed rescue dogs,
watching the entire first series of Downton Abbey in under a week,
and, mainly, working. A lot.

 It's surprisingly easy to get out of the swing of this blogging thing.

But don't worry. I'll be back.

So, what's new with you?


Amazing images by Matte Stephens. Prints available from his etsy shop.

Time, gentlemen, please.


You know how I said yesterday I was fucking knackered? Well, it's true. I am. But not just because of my whirlwind weekend. It's also because of this. Blogging, every day, like a maniac. 

I don't think I need to tell you how much I love blogging. You know I do. Blogging has given me two precious commodities that are hard to come by in our fractured, success-obsessed society: Community; and Creativity.

I have laughed and drunk with bloggers in Edinburgh, London and San Francisco. I have written nearly every day for nearly nine months, after a decade of writing nothing more than rambling emails and essays on obscure points of law. I have fallen in love with designers, photographers and writers I would never have otherwise known about. I have cheered, I have cried, I have laughed so hard that Diet Coke sputtered out of my nose.

But for everything blogging has given me, it has also, undeniably, taken something away. Principally, time. Time with my friends, my husband, my "real-life" community. Time to pursue other forms of creativity. Time to pay attention to the life that is happening around me, and to participate fully in it, instead of being too busy blogging about it.

Do you know I frequently stay up into the early hours, desperately tapping out posts I should always start earlier and never do? Do you know I carry a notebook everywhere I go, scribbling away on buses and in sandwich shops, trying to squeeze every last drop of time into this blog? Do you know I am slowly cultivating a European Ironing Mountain in my spare bedroom? And for what? Seriously, why?

Don't panic; I'm not giving up. Not by a long way. This blog is dear to me, and so are you, and I don't intend to sign off any time soon. I have listened with intense interest as others have wrestled with these questions and reached their own decisions, but ultimately for me it's too damn fun to stop. Nevertheless, I want to pause for a moment and examine my reasons for doing this. Hold them up to the light, pick out every crack and flaw; decide whether they are honest and good, or small and selfish. Probably both.

It's so easy to get cheap validation from visitor numbers, comments, subscribers, stats. Google Analytics whispers seductively in my ear, its facts and figures inching slowly, tantalisingly upwards. I become terrified that if I don't post today, and tomorrow, and the next day, then people will stop listening, and then the blog will shrivel and die and I will be left here all alone, shouting into an empty room. It's not healthy. I need to get a grip.

So let's call this an experiment.

Maybe I'll only post when I have something to say, and the time to say it properly.

This is going to be hard for me. Everything I read everywhere about successful blogging says, Post regularly, Post every day, Post twice a day, Post every minute of every day. I know there are one or two of you who read my blog first thing every morning without fail, and I love you for it, and I am so sad to let you down. I don't doubt for a moment that posting regularly, and the rigid self-discipline this entails, is important. But it's not the most important thing. Never forget the first rule of Copyblogger:

You do not publish content that sucks.

And the second rule of Copyblogger:

You do NOT publish content that sucks.

Okay then. Let's give that a shot.

But! But but but! I still want you to read. I don't want to shout into that empty room. So, here are your options:

1. Subscribe in a reader (on that topic, if you are one of the eight people who subscribed to this feed, you need to change to this feed because I ballsed it up. Okay? Thanks.)

2. Follow me on Bloglovin'.

3. Subscribe by email, so you don't even have to come here! I'll come to you! Because I'm nice that way. (Your email address won't be used for anything else and I promise not to spam you with fake ponytails.)

4. Follow me on twitter, where I tweet a link every time I post. And say stuff like this.

5. Add me to your favourites and then check back obsessively every day to see if I've posted. Google Analytics will like that, oh yeah. But it might get a bit annoying for you. You  might want to think about one of the other options instead.

6. Drop me an email, just to say hi. Tell me what you think, what you'd like me to write about. Send me links to yellow shoes. That kind of thing.

7. Do all of the above. I vote for this option.

8. Or, never read my blog again. Definitely don't do this one. In fact, this is NO LONGER AN OPTION.


So, that's what I'm thinking. I need some time back. Time for other projects, like READING and SLEEPING and IRONING. Maybe writing some of those guest posts I've been vaguely thinking about. Starting that best-seller (or not). But don't worry, I have lots of ideas for this place too. I'll still be here a lot. Just, you know. Sporadically.


P.S. I closed the comments, for the first time ever. It's liberating. I recommend it.


Stitchtionary by Stitch Therapy via Zoe's Pinterest

Le Weekend


THURSDAY

Race from work to the station. Run over several tourists' feet with wheelie suitcase.

Decide that a small pasta salad, a G&T in a can and a jumbo packet of crisps constitutes a balanced dinner.

Frantically read several chapters of How to Be a Woman on the train in preparation for Blook Club while simultaneously applying multiple layers of glittery nail varnish. Get weird looks from man on train.

Read the childbirth bit. Cross legs repeatedly. Resolve never to have sex ever again.

Try to eat pasta salad using only the little wooden sticks you use to stir your coffee. Harder than you might think.

Race to Leicester Square to meet friend. Run over some more tourists. Drink some wine.

Back to friend's flat. Drink some more wine. Drink some chocolate liqueur. Regret it almost immediately. Fall asleep on couch at 2am.

FRIDAY

Arrive at work, thirty minutes late. Discover the computer I was going to use is gone. Say "SHIT!" in very loud voice. Realise senior partner is sitting behind me. Bollocks.

Work.


More work. Yawn.

Race to hotel to meet Lucy. Knock wheelie suitcase down Tube escalator. Act like it's not mine.

Arrive at hotel, thirty minutes late. Rush to get changed. Apply eyeliner unevenly. Keep adding more eyeliner to 'balance it out'. End up looking like I am paying bizarre, eyeliner-based tribute to Amy Winehouse.

Arrive at Any Other Party, thirty minutes late. Squeal. Hug. Drink. Chat. Laugh. Drink. Gush. Bond. Giggle. Drink. Swoon. Act like total loser when introduced to wedding blogging royalty. Cringe. Drink. Hug. Hobble. Sleep.


SATURDAY

Meet lovely internet ladies for breakfast coffee at 11.

Meet lovely real-life lady for lunch at 12.

Back on the train at 1, back to the book, back to the flat for Strictly. Jason and Kristina to win, obv.

SUNDAY

Sleep. Up. Finally finish the book at 1. Off to Blook Club at 2 with YET MORE lovely internet ladies.

Chat chat chat chat chat chat chat. Start off with coffee, move on to the hard stuff when someone brings up the boobs. Chat chat chat chat chat. Tales told, trains missed, gossip shared. 

By the time I get home, six laughter-filled hours later, I can barely speak. I have no words left. I am blissfully content. And fucking knackered.



Images from Tomboy Style (Chrissie Hynde and Eddy Slaton) via east side bride's Pinterest.

Not just any other wedding


I know I said I wasn't going to post today, but I'm in a weddingy mood, and I think you'll forgive me when you read this.

Remember this post that I wrote, a lifetime ago, about Sophie? For those who are new around here, or those who haven't googled "douche canoe" recently and therefore haven't read that post (it's worrying how many people do that), Sophie writes a blog that shares the tale of her experience with breast cancer.

Back when I wrote that post, I had been especially moved by this amazing comment by her boyfriend, in response to the revelation that she would need a mastectomy. Seriously, read it. You might cry.

On Saturday, after many months of illness, baldness and having bits chopped out of her body, Sophie threw a party. A long-awaited, much-deserved party, to celebrate - finally - the end of her treatment.

Reason enough to celebrate, more than enough. But then this happened:








I haven't been so thrilled about an engagement between two people I didn't know since, well, ever. Huge, heartfelt congratulations to Sophie and DadJokes. If anyone deserves a bit of happiness, it's you two. And if anything is guaranteed to bring light and joy and healing on even the darkest of days, it's a wedding.

(It will also bring batshit-crazy relatives and overpriced, pointless tat, but hey, you can't have everything.)

Happy weekend, peeps.

On with the dance






I'm off to London tonight, and more than a wee bit excited about tomorrow's Any Other Party. My outfit is packed. The deed is done. No going back. If you want to know what I ended up choosing, well, you'll just have to wait and see.

I'm never quite sure what I think of London. Do I love it or loathe it? I can't tell. It's crowded, dirty, unfamiliar, overwhelming. Cultured, glamorous, limitless, dazzling. It's wild young things in butterfly colours, wankers in city suits. It's everything to everyone, but I'm not quite certain what it is to me.

Whatever it is, I expect to have a damn fine time.

I'm not taking my laptop with me, so no post tomorrow. Those of you on twitter, keep an eye out for #AnyOtherParty, if you feel so inclined. I'll be back next week with all the gossip. See you then.


Images: 1. Stanislaus S Longley (1927) 2. Donna Muir and Su Huntley (1987) 3. James Fitton (1937) 4. Clifford Ellis and Rosemary Ellis (1936) 5. Stanislaus S Longley (1933), all via the London Transport Museum poster collection. I do love a good vintage travel poster.

I'm sorry, WHO?


I make no secret of the fact that I'm a Strictly Come Dancing fan. It's not an exaggeration to say it's one of the highlights of my year. That wall display up there? I made it. That's right. I also cut out and hand-lettered eight complete sets of gold paper scoring paddles for my friends and me. Some people might say I have too much time on my hands; I prefer to think of myself as simply enthusiastic. Either way, when I heard this year's squadron of starlets was to be revealed yesterday, naturally I was beyond excited.

Excited, that is, right up until the moment they were announced.





Seriously, BBC, WHO??? Did you already spend all of your budget on Formula One and royal wedding documentaries? Who are these people?!

Okay fine, it's not a total celebrity vacuum, but Lulu and Jason Donovan can't carry an entire series on their teeny tiny shoulders, not even with the assistance of mildly attractive actress-turned-popstar-turned-actress-again Holly Valance (you know, that one that used to be on Neighbours). Thank God for Kristina Rihanoff, that's all I have to say.


Speaking of old Lulu, the hot question on everybody's lips (fine, just mine) is whether she'll be going for Posh Lulu or Weegie Lulu. For those not familiar, Lulu, like my mum, grew up in Glasgow in the 50s and 60s (my mum once chatted to her in the toilets in a club when she was a teenager. Terrible skin, apparently. So there you go).

Upon Lulu's arrival in London in the early 60s and her sudden rise to international popstardom, she promptly abandoned her Scottish roots to adopt a bizarre mid-Atlantic accent, something she has valiantly maintained to this day. So what? She wouldn't be the first and won't be the last to discard a regional accent to advance her career (although she should have done her research first; just check out this not-at-all biased article from the Glasgow Herald entitled "Scottish accent is best, yet another survey reveals". Indeed).

But what really hacks me off is the fact that when she does decide to grace our humble country with her presence, she feels the need to don the most ridiculous faux-Scottish accent you have ever heard. Seriously - just listen. Does she think we're daft? Does she think we don't have televisions north of the border?

Lulu, love, the game's up. If you want Scotland to vote for you (incidentally, why, in these TV talent shows, do people feel compelled to vote along national lines? Just look at Jedward - don't you think the Irish regret it now?) then the time has come to just pick an accent and stick with it. Stop changing your accent more often than you change your sparkly, flesh-coloured leotards. Thanks.

Anyone else got Strictly fever?


**If you've come here from the BBC Strictly website in search of more Strictly goodness, I strongly suggest you check out these amazing write-ups. Seriously. You won't regret it.**

Feeling moody?


Well, yes, I am, as a matter of fact, thanks to a slightly rash experiment involving a switch in my, erm... hormonal arrangements... (Sigh. I really am useless when it comes to talking about anything vaguely related to human reproduction. How the hell am I going to cope at Blook Club? I'm only at the start of Chapter 4 and already there's been porn, pubes, wanking and menstruation. Help.) Anyway, we are NOT here to talk about the lady hormones currently running riot in my bloodstream, turning me into grumpy bitch and reminding me what cramps are for the first time in over a decade, thankyouverymuch

Not those kind of moods. I'm talking about mood boards.

Alexa Chung
I love a good mood board. The problem is, I'm rubbish at actually making them. My mood boards basically consist of me copying and pasting a load of pictures into a Word document. It's a sophisticated process.

Of course, this didn't deter me from frantically moodboarding (what? It's totally a verb) in the run-up to our wedding. In fact, I still have my wedding mood board pinned to the wall behind my computer at work, a full thirteen months later. Whatever gets you through the day, people.

My friend Kristen is much more technologically savvy when it comes to these things (a design degree will help with that; a law degree, not so much). She even produced this work of art that kept me going through many a dreary Tuesday afternoon:


Remarkably true to life, I think you'll agree. Sadly, since the wedding, opportunities to create mood boards have been few and far between. Pinterest has gone some way towards filling the void, but I have a tendency to be a bit random in my pinning, leaving most of my boards looking less like a lovingly curated collection of harmonious styles and colours and more like a Kays catalogue. 

Enter: Polyvore.

Polyvore seems to be more of a shopping aid than an inspiration tool, but that didn't stop me launching in and creating a little outfit inspiration for this Friday's Any Other Party. I'm having an existential outfit crisis, you see (and it seems I'm not the only one). I tried on some red jeans and they looked AWFUL (although I will admit that my perception may have been skewed by the rampaging lady hormones referred to above) so I'm back to square one, trying to construct an outfit from the mismatched contents of my still-fairly-cluttered wardrobe.

Using my fail-safe technique of starting with the shoes, I whiled away some time yesterday idly imagining outfits that might work with my lamentably under-worn wedding shoes. And what better way, besides actually trying on every item of clothing I own, to decide whether an outfit will work than to spend a few minutes (okay, the best part of an hour) creating an outfit mood board?

Ta-da!
Any Other Party: Option 1


Okay, so it was my first attempt, those aren't really my shoes, and I did warn you that I was rubbish at making mood boards, but even if I end up wearing something completely different, this was really, really fun. Mainly because I got to pretend I could afford $800 shoes and a $1400 clutch. As if.

Are you going to Any Other Party? Do you fancy indulging in a bit of fantasy outfit shopping? If you answered yes to either of these questions, I strongly suggest you head over to Polyvore, make up some fancy schmancy outfits then come back and share the results. I would bet good money that you can do a better job than me. And yes - that is a challenge.


P.S. This isn't a sponsored post or anything, obviously. I don't think Polyvore would welcome me talking about rampaging lady hormones in a sponsored post. Mind you, people sponsor The Bloggess, so...


Images: 1. Style Me Pretty 2. Alexa Chung by mathildl via Polyvore 3. Very close representation of what our wedding actually looked like by my friend Kristen of What Kristen Saw 4. Any Other Party: Option 1 by asafemooring.

Another highbrow post

I like to think I've cultivated a bit of a reputation here at A Safe Mooring. A reputation for serious intellectual discourse, highbrow cultural references, and above all impeccable taste. My readers, who are without exception intelligent, classy and tasteful themselves, have come to expect a certain standard from me and I consider it my duty to endeavour at all times to live up to their well-founded expectations.

With that in mind, as soon as I saw these stylish ensembles I just knew I had to share them with you, my discerning followers:
I know what you're thinking. What could be more ridiculous than dressing an animal up as another animal?

I'll tell you what would be more ridiculous. This:



If that's not a good reason to get a puppy, then I don't know what is.



All images from http://www.partycity.com/ via Girl's Gone Child (who, by the way, holy shit)

Shhh.


I seem to have accidentally fucked about with my blog feed. Oops.

This is just a test. I wasn't here. You didn't see me.

But I couldn't just post nothing, so here's a picture of 
Marilyn and Marlon, generally being awesome together,
from the appropriately-named Awesome People Hanging Out Together.


Photographs by Milton H. Green.

Hello Autumn.


It's finally here! I don't care when autumn officially starts, for me it's September. (For the Scottish climate, it's mid-July, but that's beside the point.) August seemed to go on forever, packed with parties and visitors and Fringe by the Sea, and now I'm ready to slow down, curl up on the couch and welcome the changing season with open arms. 

Here's a little preview of what I'm looking forward to this autumn. Besides my couch, that is.


 Tripping the light fantastic with some of my favourite internet ladies, and hopefully meeting some new ones, at Any Other Party. One week to go, people! I can't wait. I spent all of last night trawling the shops for the Perfect Red Jeans but they continue to elude me. The sneaky buggers. Fear not, my search will go on, but I may have to come up with a back-up plan, just in case. Those of you who are going - what are you wearing???


♥ Ah, Strictly. How I've missed you. Okay, so the X Factor seems to be slightly more bearable now that Gary Barlow has replaced old Mr. Smugface, but it can never come close to Strictly Come Dancing in my book. Daring moves, dramatic showdowns, simmering sexual tension and glitter. And that's just me and Fin.


♥  Book club. Or, more specifically, Blook club. (Blogging book club, geddit?) After the success of the APW book club back in June, Zoe of Conversation Pieces (by the way, did you see her wedding pictures??? I die) asked me if I knew of any "normal" book clubs. After assuring her that APW readers are in fact normal - well, for the most part - I agreed that a "non-weddingy" book club might be in order, and after a flurry of emails and some organisational wizardry by Zoe, the first meet-up is in my diary and the first book is beside my bed. (It's Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman, which I have been dying to read ever since Cate of Project Subrosa gave it a glowing review.) Exciting times.


Going back up to the farm, one of my favourite places. As if it wasn't already fun enough - Friends! Cows! Crazy dogs! - my farm-dwelling friend has just become the proud owner of a brand new baby kitten. Her name is Lily, she loves to play and snuggle and by all accounts is just the cutest thing ever. Everybody say awwww.


I'm contemplating doing an online course called Mondo Beyondo. I can barely mention it without visibly cringing, but I've heard a lot of bloggers raving about it and I must admit I'm intrigued. Has anyone done it? There's a chance it will just be a load of touchy-feely American self-help bullshit - ok, it's more than a chance - but I need to do something. And if it delivers even a fraction of what it promises, that's got to be 99 bucks well spent, surely?


♥ But first and foremost, I'm looking forward to this weekend. Our first weekend in weeks with absolutely nothing to do. No plans, no parties; just me and the boy. And the decluttering list. Heaven.

Happy weekend, peeps.


 

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